What does "torido chaumate" mean? I didn't find these words in Latin.

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    This doesn't look like latin to me at all Commented May 12, 2022 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


The link shows that this occurs as a gloss of Old English "swellendum bærnette", which is helpful context for interpreting the Latin.

"Chaumate" is a variant spelling of the ablative singular of cauma, from Greek καῦμα "heat" (the source of English "caustic" etc.). It corresponds in this gloss to Old English bærnette "burning". I would interpret the function of the Latin ablative in this context as an "ablative of means", conveying the meaning "with heat" or "by heat".

"Torido" could be one of several related words that in standard Latin spelling start with torrid-.

  • There is an adjective torridus "dry, parched" which has torrido as its dative and ablative singular form.

  • Derived from this, there is a verb torrido "I scorch or burn". Latin first-person singular present-tense forms, such as torrido, are often used as the lemma (citation) form of a verb, so you could also translate it in the context of a gloss as "to scorch".

I don't know Old English grammar, so I'm not sure which interpretation fits better in this context. My first thought was that it is the verb, giving the sense "I scorch with heat"/"to scorch with heat", but it looks like "swellendum" is the dative form of a participle, so maybe "torrido" is meant to be an adjective and the intended meaning is "parched with heat" or "with dry heat".

  • Hard to say with no context of course, but I would guess torrido/swellendum is an adjectival participle in the dative modifying chaumate/bærnette, so ‘with scorching fire’ or ‘with parching heat’. Commented May 12, 2022 at 21:32
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: I wondered if that would be another possibility. Do you know of examples of "torridus" used as an adjective modifying nouns referring to heat or fire, like "ardor" or "incendium"? The examples I found so far make it look like it usually means "parched" rather than "parching" Commented May 12, 2022 at 22:40
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    I don’t – I hadn’t actually looked. But swellendum is definitely an active participle, so at least in the OE gloss the active sense seems more likely. But torridus would be expected to be more stative-passive, so perhaps it’s just a mismatch between the original and the gloss. Commented May 12, 2022 at 23:07
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    I wonder if it might not be a type of transferred epithet, given that you do see it used with aestas in Vergil's Eclogues 7.48. Strangely, I find that more intuitive than glossing it with a first person verb.
    – cmw
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 0:07
  • (And a rare one at that!)
    – cmw
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 0:13

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